The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Wahkiakum PUD ready for summer projects


The Wahkiakum PUD Board of Commissioners listened to reports and approved an interlocal agreement to perform water testing at County Line Park for Port 1 on Tuesday morning.

Commissioner Dennis Reid asked General Manger Dave Tramblie if there were any plans to reopen the PUD offices to the public.

“I am following the lead of the rest of the utilities in the state,” Tramblie said. “Nobody is anxious to reopen yet. Everything is functioning fine.”

During his report, Tramblie said that an engineer was in town to prepare the Wahkiakum substation for a new recloser that will go online sometime during the last week of this month. A recloser shuts off power when trouble occurs, and quickly tests the line to see if the problem has been resolved. If it was a temporary issue, power is restored by the recloser.

There are several other projects in the works. The PUD will be working with another entity to remove a tree on Beaver Creek Road, and they plan to replace a water main on East Birnie Slough Road. During the second week of July, Tramblie plans to take the Cathlamet Substation offline for testing that is done by a contractor every five years.

The load will be transferred to the Wahkiakum substation, Tramblie said, and seamless for customers.

During the last week of July, the PUD will move a customer’s water meter on Hoikka Road, and take advantage of the project to replace all underground electric and water main down that road.

Another project is planned for Satterlund Road.

“I just hope it helps our loss rate getting rid of the old pipe,” Reid said.

“It should,” Tramblie said.

Tramblie also said that if all went well, he hoped that the PUD would be able to begin the Skamokawa Water Expansion project in August.

There have been four outages the last two months, and each one had a different cause--an animal, a tree limb, and equipment issues; the cause of the last one was unknown.

Commissioner Bob Jungers suggested that the PUD begin exploring the financial consolidation of the three systems, the Electric System, the Puget Island Water System, and the Western Wahkiakum Water System.

Commissioner Gene Healy said he would like time to consider all the reasons they should and shouldn’t be doing it.

“If we go through with this consolidation, I want us to have an earnest discussion about what help it's going to take to make [the Western Wahkiakum Water System] well,” Jungers said.

The matter will be on the agenda for the next meeting.

Steve Carson, who has been hired by the PUD as a consultant for the broadband project, gave an update on his work. He said that he had been looking at the paper work for a potential funding source, the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. He had also been reviewing the feasibility study provided by Noanet, and was reading numerous articles that had been sent his way.

The commissioners adopted an interlocal agreement with Port 1 to perform water testing at County Line Park. The PUD used to provide the service for Port 2, but Port 1 took over the management of the park earlier this year.


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